1 ) Theatre
Hedda Gabler is the part that every actress at the top of her game seeks to test herself against. The brilliant and award-winning Ruth Wilson (Jane Eyre, Luther, The Affair) stars in a modern-day production of Ibsen’s 19th century masterpiece, in a new translation scripted by Patrick Marber, king of the claustrophobic psychodrama. It’s harsh and gripping. Get tickets if you can. At the Lyttelton, National Theatre, until March 21. Read my review here.
On at theatres near you:
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on at the New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday February 4.
2 ) Books
The weather has been so foul that the most tempting cultural activity has been to curl up somewhere cosy with a book. Get inspired by the Wellcome Book Prize longlist which came out on Monday. After interviewing her at Wimbledon BookFest last autumn, I can thoroughly recommend South London journalist and author Jo Marchant’s non-fiction book ‘Cure’ exploring aspects of health that our time-poor, drugs-focused doctors wrongly ignore. For an enjoyable historical fiction read, try ‘The Essex Serpent’ by Sarah Perry, also longlisted.
Or try Sebastian Barry’s gay Wild West love story ‘Days Without End’ which won the Costa Book Award on Tuesday. It’s the second time Barry has won the Costa, putting him on a par with Seamus Heaney.
3 ) Live Music
*THURSDAY NIGHT* US singer/guitarist the brilliant Geena Fontanella is performing at the Sound Lounge SW17, Thursday 2 February. Also Joseph Lofthouse and Russell Swallow from 8pm. Visit thesoundlounge.org.uk or call 020 8543 9555.
Tickets have gone on sale to see the great bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, pride of Wales, as Hans Sachs in Wagner’s comic opera ‘Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg’ at the Royal Opera House next month, from Saturday 11 March. Opera geeks – while you wait, the ROH has posted a blog picking its top ten bass-baritone roles. What have they missed?
Book tickets on roh.org.uk – note the early start times, from 3pm.
4 ) Friday Night on the Town
Silent Disco 100ft above the streets of London at The Roof Gardens, Kensington, with DJs Benny Blanco and Sam Londt on Friday 3 February, from 7pm – midnight, tickets from £15.
Burlesque: Seven Sins cabaret at the Cabaret de Paris every Friday. “It is a bit x-rated and irreverent, but if that doesn’t bother you then the humour and talents are superb,” one reviewer wrote last month.
5 ) Film
Odeon cinemas are offering a “watch three, see one free” deal on full price tickets to18 films nominated for awards. So take in La La Land, Manchester By The Sea and Hacksaw Ridge, for example, keep your ticket stubs, and get Jackie free. Includes kids’ films Moana and A Monster Calls. Until March 31. Find out more on odeon.co.uk/offers-and-promotions.
6 ) Round Up
Dip and Flip burger joint, at 115 Tooting High St, is having a “pay what you think” day on Saturday 4 February, and donating all proceeds to St George’s Hospital.
Booking opened this week for the Summer of Love season at Shakespeare’s Globe, featuring some of Shakespeare’s best loved plays.
If you can’t wait till summer, Annie Ryan’s reimagining of John Webster’s The White Devil opened at the Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse last week.
Rose Theatre, Kingston, holds free jazz events every Tuesday lunchtime in its cafe/restaurant. On Tuesday 7 February it’s Theo Jackson. Visit rosetheatrekingston.org/whats-on/jazz-at-the-rose.
Denbies Wine Estate is hosting a ‘First Steps Exhibition’ of paintings by local emerging artists. February 6 -12, in the Denbies art gallery. Free. You could combine it with a Sparkling Wine Tasting Experience with indoor wine tour, £14.95 per person.
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